Pupils in Years 4-7 were treated to a visit from a very special guest on Wednesday morning, when author and former St Leonards student Abi Elphinstone dropped in to talk about her magical new book, Sky Song!
Abi told tales of her adventures in the Arctic and in Mongolia, where she found the inspiration for her Dreamsnatcher Trilogy, as well as her latest release.
Props and a fantastic slideshow created an air of excitement among the boys and girls as they heard about the antics of wildcats, identified Arctic animals in a quiz and wondered about the powers of Abi’s crystal ball.
Abi explained how adventures are the best source of ideas when it comes to storytelling and writing, whether those adventures involve tracking down Mongolia’s only eagle huntress (and meeting Angela the cat wrestler along the way!) or simply stepping outside your front door and spying a frozen spider’s web glistening in the sun.
Her top tip for our budding authors, musicians, athletes, artists, academics or professionals was ‘don’t be afraid to fail’. Abi told pupils how she received 96 letters from publishers rejecting her books before The Dreamsnatcher was published in 2015 and her perseverance has certainly paid off.
If there was one ‘take-home’ quote from Abi’s wonderfully interactive talk, it was this: ‘Writers are people who remember to look up and out because that’s where ideas come from’.
A book signing rounded off the morning’s events, with a long queue of children snaking all the way across St Katherine’s Hall with their copies of Sky Song, waiting for their turn to meet Abi before diving into Chapter 1.
Thank you to Abi and her team for taking the time to stop off at St Leonards for what really was a super session! We hope Years 4-7 left brimming with ideas for their own bestsellers!